San Luis Obispo Interest Rate Update – More Improvement

Mortgage rates are always subject to fluctuations and the whims of the market (investors), and this was perfectly on display last Tuesday (April 3). Here is a summary of what occurred:

–  The Fed released their minutes from the March meeting.

– From these minutes, we learned that the Fed thinks the economy continues to experience weak growth, and that it is leaning against further intervention (Quantitative Easing). There is also uncertainty about the future of Operation Twist after it expires in late April. Operation Twist is a bond buying and selling operation used to bring down interest rates.

– Another small nugget from the report suggested the Fed might revise GDP slightly upward.

– The Dow quickly drops in the wake of the report.

– The bond market worsens amidst a small sell off.

– Interest rate costs increase by 1/2 a point.

All of this occurred within a few hours. Now, for those of you that have read our blogs here in the past, and follow our website, you know that typically when uncertainty plagues the stock market, the U.S. bond market improves (because investors look for safety), and interest rate costs drop. Well, in this case, everything became worse, and nobody really knew why. Investors were reacting to the news, but it wasn’t based on any fundamental reason or actionable data.

The markets settled down and so would interest rates. To begin the week, rate costs have again dropped between 1/4 and 1/2 point. Overall, this puts two-week drops between 1/2 point and 1 point. The 30-year fixed currently sits at 3.5 percent (3.653 percent APR) and the 15-year fixed is at 2.750 percent (3.007 percent APR). For more rates, see our Monday Rate Update. Remember, this is all happening after rates went up for about 1 or two weeks. All of this is a nice reminder to avoid having your vision clouded by sudden sparks, and instead take the long-term view. Rates have generally stayed very low, and until a major jolt to the market, they will likely stay there. Don’t be like the traders who see the Fed minutes and believe they need to make a move – stay calm and logical.

If you missed it, check out a few great articles from last week. We wrote a step-by-step guide to improving your credit score, and a look at why the new appraisal process (under new HVCC guidelines) is a headache for everybody. We also did a fun review of Morro Bay secret gardens, which got quite a lot of feedback. Check in this week with our Professional Insight blog for articles from landscaper Evan Moffitt (from KD Janni Lanscaping), and lawyer Eric Parkinson (from Parkinson Law).

March 2012 MLS Statistics

March 2012

Includes San Luis Obispo County – All Residential
(Last months data is also included – March (February))

New Listings – 433 (400)
Back on Market –165 (162)
Price Drops – 278 (289)
Contingent – 195 (209)
Pendings – 459 (356)
Solds – 322 (231)
Expireds – 111 (117)

New Search Sites Coming!

We are actively working to expand our Search Site to other areas. The first areas we will be adding are in Southern California. We currently have 28 search sites in the works, which cover a couple hundred cities. All of these sites will have our market statistics dashboards and custom Listing Reports (New Listings, Price Changes). We’re hoping to have these ready to go within the next few weeks!

IPAD…My Traveling Companion!

I just got back from some meetings in LA. I stayed at the Pasadena Hilton which I got through Priceline for $70/night. The TV selection wasn’t the greatest and I remembered I had a HDMI cable with me so I hooked up my IPAD to the room’s TV set and watched a movie I had stored on my IPAD. The map app on the IPAD is invaluable too, since it displays where congestion is on freeways. That really helped with LA freeways!

The IPAD continues to amaze me with all the different uses it provides.

San Luis Obispo County Mortgage Rate Update – Costs Drop

After the big ballyhoo over the increase of interest rates over the past few weeks, we are back down near where we started. Rates costs have dropped to begin the week by 1/4 of a point to 3/8 of a point, and we are again advertising 3.5 percent for the 30-year fixed (3.674 percent APR) and 2.875 percent for the 15-year fixed (3.078 percent APR). With the rates settlind down again, now might be the time to revisit mortgage refinance. As Central Coast Lending loan officer Jason VanDyke notices, there is now more refinance opportunity than ever.

Last week, the Tribune posted some interesting local statistics about real estate and employment. February home sales grew 9.7 percent over the previous year, even as median home price fell slightly to $319,000, a 0.3 percent drop. The year-over-year growth rebounded from January’s decline.  Although overall median prices fell, the median price for San Luis Obispo’s largest segment of real estate – detached single-family homes, rose 3 percent to $340,000.

February added 400 more jobs from January in San Luis Obispo County, but at the same time, another 499 people joined the ranks of unemployment. As a result, the jobless rate increased slightly to 8.4 percent to end a four-month improvement streak. Overall, the Tribune reports that a seasonally-adjusted 127,400 people were employed during February.

If you missed it, we had Brian Ghiglia of REC Solar on Mortgage Matters Radio last week. Hosts Dan and Jason dug through the data to give you a better picture of the housing market recovery, and then interviewed Brian to learn more about solar energy. This was one of our better shows, and you can listen to the archive HERE. For some background – Central Coast Lending has a weekly radio show on KVEC 920 at 10 a.m. every Saturday to keep the community updated on real estate and mortgage finance.  For more information, go to

Make sure to check in with us this week on our website. We have some great articles planned, including advice about how to improve your credit score, a piece about appraisal challenges, and the usual market watch updates.